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Kaulig Racing Post-Race Report | Watkins Glen International

August 20, 2023

Go Bowling at the Glen

AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Celsius Camaro ZL1

  • AJ Allmendinger qualified sixth for the Go Bowling at the Glen.
  • Allmendinger took over fifth place on the first lap, where he remained for the duration of the opening stage. He was quiet on the radio, only reporting that the rear of the car was out of the track. Allmendinger finished the opening stage in fifth and took over the lead as cars began coming down pit road for green flag pit stops.
  • The No. 16 Celsius Chevy came down pit road from first place on lap 23 for a scheduled green flag stop and exited pit road in fifth. On lap 24, Allmendinger took over fourth place and was running lap times similar to the leader by lap 28. The No. 5 car passed the No. 16 for fourth place on lap 34, and Allmendinger reported he was too free and lacked lateral grip. He finished stage two in fifth place.
  • On lap 44, Allmendinger was running fifth when his spotter told him his lap times were better than the leaders in front of him. On lap 55, the No. 16 Chevy came down pit road from the fourth position for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. Allmendinger sat in seventh when the caution came out on lap 57 and would restart fourth on lap 60. The No. 16 Celsius Chevy went on to finish fourth in the Go Bowling at the Glen.

 

“It’s been tough these past couple of weeks. These cars are physically harder to drive than the old Cup car. With the tires not falling off, you still feel like you’re running [qualifying] laps. The Celsius Chevy was fast. I think if we could have gotten up there and cleared the Toyotas there, maybe we had something for William [Byron]. It’s so hard to pass in dirty air. We wanted to win, but I’m super proud of everyone at Kaulig Racing. We’re getting better. Last week was disappointing, but I’m proud of myself this week. I felt like I made no mistakes. That was all I had all day today. It’s something to build on.”

– AJ Allmendinger

Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1

  • Justin Haley qualified 20th for the Go Bowling at the Glen but would start the race at the rear due to an unapproved adjustment.
  • The first stage remained caution-free for its entirety. As the field began to pit under green, Haley worked his way to 19th where he finished the opening stage. 
  • After completing two laps in the second stage, Haley radioed that he needed left rear grip. He pitted on lap 24 from 10th place for tires and fuel. After pitting, Haley sat 31st, telling the No. 31 team that he was unable to make any passes for position. Like stage one, stage two remained caution-free, and Haley finished 31st. 
  • The very first caution of the day came out on lap 57 for a car stopped on track, as Haley sat 17th. He pitted for tires and a full tank of fuel under caution, prepared to make it until the end. The green flag came back out with 30 to go in the race, as Haley restarted from 26th. The race stayed green for the remaining laps, and Haley finished 24th.


“We struggled right off the bat today by having to start at the rear, costing us a ton of track position. We struggled with rear grip and lack of cautions made it so hard for me to pass. Definitely not the day we wanted in Watkins Glen, but hopefully we can rebound in Daytona, a place I have had success at.”

– Justin Haley

Shriners Children’s 200

Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet Camaro

  • Chandler Smith qualified 18th for the Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International.
  • Smith gained two spots at the drop of the green flag and passed the No. 91 for 15th on lap four. Trying to make a move into the bus stop, he jumped the curb and spun, sending him back to 23rd. Smith made up one spot and finished stage one in 22nd, 40 seconds behind the leader.
  • Just after the green-white-checkered flag waved, Smith pulled into the pits for four tires and fuel and merged back on track one lap down. While leaving the box, he drove through too many pit stalls and was penalized. Before he could serve the drive-through penalty, the No. 43 car stalled on track, and a caution came out on lap 22. Due to the No. 16 being under penalty, he could not take the wave around and still had to go to the tail-end of the field at the restart. In turn, crew chief, Bruce Schlicker, called Smith back into the pits to top off on fuel on an extended caution, which the team could only do because it was ineligible for the wave around. Smith restarted on lap 27 in 31st, still one lap down. He made his way up to 29th by the time the yellow flag flew for the second time on lap 32 but was not in the free pass position. Under caution, Smith pitted to refuel again. He restarted 28th and was in the free pass position. Smith gained one spot and finished stage two in 27th.
  • On lap 47, a caution came out, allowing Smith to get back on the lead lap, as he was in the free-pass position. He came down pit lane for four tires and fuel and restarted 25th on the lead lap with 30 to go. Over the course of the next 24 laps, the No. 16 made it as high as 12th place while being told to push hard instead of fuel-save, passing cars who had come down for fuel. On lap 77, the yellow flag waved again. Schlicker radioed to Smith to come down into the pits for four tires and fuel, saying he wanted Smith to “go on the attack” in the closing laps. The No. 16 restarted in 16th with four laps remaining and avoided a wreck in the outer loop to move up to 12th as the final caution came out. Restarting in 10th after cars pitted, Smith avoided the overtime carnage to cross the line in eighth.

“After all we dealt with today, I’m thrilled to leave Watkins Glen with a top 10. It’s a credit to the entire No. 16 Quick Tie Products team. The crew gave me the best chance to claw our way back up the leaderboard. We took advantage of other peoples’ mistakes and kept it mostly clean to the finish.”

– Chandler Smith

Daniel Hemric, No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet Camaro

  • Daniel Hemric qualified sixth for the Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International.
  • Hemric started the race as the first car on the outside lane, after the No. 17 and No. 00 dropped to the rear for unapproved adjustments. Hemric’s No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet fired off free, dropping back to eighth by lap eight. While avoiding an incident in front of him on lap 11, Hemric steered clear of contact but fell back to 13th, where he finished the opening stage under green flag conditions.
  • Hemric remained in 13th, until the first caution came out on lap 22. He pitted under caution for four tires, fuel, track bar and air pressure adjustments. Hemric restarted 17th with 14 laps to go in stage two and was able to move up to 13th by lap 28. When the next caution flag flew on lap 32, Hemric elected to stay out, restarting 12th with seven laps to go in the stage, before moving up to 11th where he finished stage two.
  • The first caution of the final stage came out on lap 47. Hemric pitted for four tires and fuel and was reminded to save fuel. He restarted 11th with 32 laps remaining in the race, making his way back into the top 10 by lap 59. With 15 to go, Hemric reported a problem with his No. 11 Cirkul Chevy and made an unscheduled pit stop from eighth place. Unable to address the problem, Hemric went back on track only to pit again, this time, having to drive to the garage for the team to address the issue. After discovering a part failure, the team sent Hemric back out just before the restart with four to go to finish the race. The caution came out almost immediately after the restart before going into NASCAR overtime. Hemric restarted 23rd where he ultimately limped the No. 11 Cirkul Chevy to the end.

“We had really good short-run speed in the Cirkul Chevrolet this weekend, especially in practice and qualifying. I think we just let the racetrack get away from us, and our setup was a bit aggressive. We struggled a bit in the first run and thought we made good changes to get the speed a little better. I thought we were going to be able to salvage a pretty good day and possibly a top-five. Unfortunately, we had a parts failure, and that’s something you can’t control when it happens. Today we didn’t do the little things right, but we get the chance to regroup for next week.” 

– Daniel Hemric

Kyle Busch, No. 10 LA Golf Chevrolet Camaro

  • Kyle Busch qualified eighth for the Shriners Children’s 200 at Watkins Glen International.
  • Busch quickly worked his way up to third at the start of the race, before radioing that his No. 10 LA Golf Chevrolet was too free. After driving off track in the grass, Busch was forced to pit on lap 10 for tires, fuel and to clean off the grill to prevent the car from overheating. Busch made his way back to 25th, where he finished the opening stage. 
  • The first caution of the day came out on lap 22 for a car stopped on track. Busch relayed to the team that the back of the No. 10 was too high. He pitted under caution for tires, fuel, and a major adjustment. Busch restarted 24th on lap 27 and worked his way up to 17th when the next caution came out on lap 32. Busch reported that he lacked lateral grip in the No. 10 Chevy. Restarting on lap 34, Busch went on to finish the second stage in 12th place.
  • After the second stage ended under green, the first caution of the final stage came out on lap 47. Busch pitted, as the No. 10 team was close to its fuel window. He restarted inside the top 10 with 32 laps remaining. The next caution came out on lap 77, as Busch had made his way up to seventh. He reported the third gear in his No. 10 Chevy was gone. As the field went back to green with four laps remaining, the caution came back out on lap 80, but Busch’s No. 10 Chevy had lost all gears, forcing him to stop on track. He was pushed back to the garage and scored 27th.


“We had an eventful day in our LA Golf Chevrolet. We had an unscheduled pit stop on lap 10 and lost track position and had to play catch-up from there. For most of the day the car was loose and we had a lack of grip. We stayed out and got track position for the restart with five laps to go but something broke and ended our day. Thanks to everyone at Kaulig Racing for their hard work. We’ll rebound at Darlington.”

– Kyle Busch

XFinity

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